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R.W. Johnson: Clement Attlee, 11 September 2014

Clement Attlee: The Inevitable Prime Minister 
by Michael Jago.
Biteback, 390 pp., £25, May 2014, 978 1 84954 683 6
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... idea of a modern politician turning down such a soundbite opportunity makes one sigh. Similarly, Michael Jago reproduces part of an interview with Honor Balfour in 1967: Balfour: What was the greatest achievement of the Labour government? Attlee: Indian independence. Balfour: What was the greatest problem you faced? Attlee: Russia. Balfour: What was the ...


Karl Miller: Smiley and Bingham, 9 May 2013

A Delicate Truth 
by John le Carré.
Viking, 310 pp., £18.99, April 2013, 978 0 670 92279 6
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The Man Who Was George Smiley: The Life of John Bingham 
by Michael Jago.
Biteback, 308 pp., £20, February 2013, 978 1 84954 513 6
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... very spirited one, too, as it gathers speed. John Bingham, 7th Baron Clanmorris, hits the pages of Michael Jago’s biography, The Man Who Was George Smiley, as a man of whom no one had anything but good to say but who was able to describe himself fictionally as no good at anything at all. He was a patriot, a novelist, a spy-handler, and an early friend ...

Raven’s Odyssey

D.A.N. Jones, 19 July 1984

by D.M. Thomas.
Gollancz, 312 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 575 03446 7
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First Among Equals 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 446 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 340 35266 3
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Morning Star 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 264 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 9780856341380
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... necessary, since most of the politicians looked like T.S. Eliot and most of the poets looked like Michael Foot – with Mary Wilson as one of the exceptions. Although I warned the heroine of Mrs Wilson’s Diary that I was a journalist, she favoured me with her political opinions (sound, I thought, if unorthodox) and I changed the subject, asking if she ...

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